"Every perception is to some degree an act of creation, and every act of memory is to some degree an act of imagination."
-- Gerald Edelman, Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge
2 Part I: How to remember almost anything: the Anki system4 Part I: How to remember almost anything: the Anki systemPart I: How to remember almost anything: the Anki systemAugmenting Long-term Memory2020-09-24Journal
While it's obviously useful that the computer manages the interval between reviews, it perhaps doesn't seem like that big a deal. The punchline is that this turns out to be a far more efficient way to remember information.
How much more efficient?
To answer that question, let's do some rough time estimates. On average, it takes me about 8 seconds to review a card. Suppose I was using conventional flashcards, and reviewing them (say) once a week. If I wanted to remember something for the next 20 years, I'd need 20 years times 52 weeks per year times 8 seconds per card. That works out to a total review time of just over 2 hours for each card.